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“Mocked by the Archon of Lust” : Panarion 1.26 and Epiphanius’ Hyperboles on Sex and Ascetics Read in Light of Fourth Century Ecclesiastical Debates

Linjamaa, Paul LU (2020) In Vigiliae Christianae 74(3). p.316-334
Abstract
This article argues that the depictions of Gnostic sects performing horrendous rites in Epiphanius of Cyprus’ work Panarion worked as rhetorical devices to shift focus away from his own position vis-à-vis marriage, sex, and consumptions of good food and wine, a position that was considered liberal in the context of fourth century eccle- siastical debates. It here is shown how Epiphanius’ description of Gnostic sects follows clear patterns of the archetypical “other”, going back to Roman slander of Christians. By drawing attention to this fact and by contextualizing Epiphanius’ theological positions and the ecclesiastical struggles he was engaged in during the fourth century, this ar- ticle cast new light on the work Panarion and the... (More)
This article argues that the depictions of Gnostic sects performing horrendous rites in Epiphanius of Cyprus’ work Panarion worked as rhetorical devices to shift focus away from his own position vis-à-vis marriage, sex, and consumptions of good food and wine, a position that was considered liberal in the context of fourth century eccle- siastical debates. It here is shown how Epiphanius’ description of Gnostic sects follows clear patterns of the archetypical “other”, going back to Roman slander of Christians. By drawing attention to this fact and by contextualizing Epiphanius’ theological positions and the ecclesiastical struggles he was engaged in during the fourth century, this ar- ticle cast new light on the work Panarion and the techniques Epiphanius employed in order to impact his theological climate. By retorting to conventional polemical meth- ods of preceding centuries, where the enemy is attached to norm-breaking behavior, Epiphanius managed to make his own positions seem more reasonable and moderate. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Epiphanius of Salamis, early Christian sexuality, Panarion, early Christian identity politics
in
Vigiliae Christianae
volume
74
issue
3
pages
316 - 334
publisher
Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN
0042-6032
DOI
10.1163/15700720-12341434
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8c162f62-b2dd-4ffa-9def-cf0542ea8a99
date added to LUP
2020-01-09 23:04:13
date last changed
2020-06-11 13:26:52
@article{8c162f62-b2dd-4ffa-9def-cf0542ea8a99,
  abstract     = {This article argues that the depictions of Gnostic sects performing horrendous rites in Epiphanius of Cyprus’ work Panarion worked as rhetorical devices to shift focus away from his own position vis-à-vis marriage, sex, and consumptions of good food and wine, a position that was considered liberal in the context of fourth century eccle- siastical debates. It here is shown how Epiphanius’ description of Gnostic sects follows clear patterns of the archetypical “other”, going back to Roman slander of Christians. By drawing attention to this fact and by contextualizing Epiphanius’ theological positions and the ecclesiastical struggles he was engaged in during the fourth century, this ar- ticle cast new light on the work Panarion and the techniques Epiphanius employed in order to impact his theological climate. By retorting to conventional polemical meth- ods of preceding centuries, where the enemy is attached to norm-breaking behavior, Epiphanius managed to make his own positions seem more reasonable and moderate.},
  author       = {Linjamaa, Paul},
  issn         = {0042-6032},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {316--334},
  publisher    = {Brill Academic Publishers},
  series       = {Vigiliae Christianae},
  title        = {“Mocked by the Archon of Lust” : Panarion 1.26 and Epiphanius’ Hyperboles on Sex and Ascetics Read in Light of Fourth Century Ecclesiastical Debates},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15700720-12341434},
  doi          = {10.1163/15700720-12341434},
  volume       = {74},
  year         = {2020},
}